Online seminar recap: The coaching approach to wellness — and why it works

Improve employee wellness through coaching and personalization

Dane Jensen, CEO of Performance Coaching, led participants through a seminar on why employees may not be motivated to make healthy behaviour changes through workforce wellness initiatives. Here’s a breakdown of the topics he covered and how to identify the right motivators to help influence the health and wellness of each individual employee at your company.

The Four Stages of Awareness

When it comes to making healthy behaviour changes, there are four stages of awareness:

    1. Unconscious incompetence
      This is where most people start. It’s a total lack of awareness that any problems exist or that any changes need to be made.
    2. Conscious incompetence
      Once a person has some information, they move here. This is when they’re educated on the issues, but lack the motivation to act on them.
    3. Conscious competence
      At this stage, people start to act on the information that they received in stage two. They have removed the barriers in their way, and are taking the initiative to make those changes—though it’s not yet habitual and it’s an uncomfortable stage to be in.
    4. Unconscious competence
      Ultimately, this is the goal. “Automatic expertise” is another way to look at this stage. Those changes that were actively made in stage three end up becoming habitual—i.e. they don’t have to think about them anymore as they have become routine.

How can you help your employees move through these stages to achieve unconscious competence?

Prevailing assumptions and fixes

There are two assumptions that most organizations make when it comes to why people aren’t making changes to healthy behaviours.

The first is a lack of data, and the second is a lack of expertise.

There are, however, ways to ensure that your employees are getting all of the information on their health to head down a path towards positive change:

  • Provide them with the right data or information with tools such as Fit Bits, or completing the Annual Health Assessment at Medcan which can help employees understand their health needs.
  • Connect your employees with experts that will guide them to take action. A personal trainer or gym membership can help increase their knowledge on what to change and how to change it.

Some employees need more than just information to guide them. This is where you may need to determine what barriers are in their way.

Diagnose the barriers

Help your employees identify the different factors that could be affecting their health—these are different for each individual person. Whether it’s work, family, or sleep—by identifying the influencing factors , they’re not only taking into account their own behaviour, but also all other blocks that could be imposing change.

One great tool to diagnose a person’s blocks is called The Attentional Interpersonal Style Inventory (TAIS). The test can help determine what a person’s block is likely to be, and what to focus on when putting a plan together.

Create an integrated support team

After determining the blocks, a person should ask themselves who needs to be involved to accomplish their goal before moving into action.

The people involved can vary depending on the different blocks. If weight management is their goal for example, they won’t need the same people around them as when their goal is to have a better work-life balance. See other examples in the diagrams below:

client_goals

Working with a coach

It’s a good idea for a person to work with a coach in order to keep from backsliding, or to help address how to gather an integrated support team.

What makes a good coach?

Act as a key partner in the diagnosis phase

A coach brings data to the table, but also offers support in external discussions that a person might need to have—like how to talk to their manager or spouse about their goals.

Build self-responsibility and self-awareness

People generally won’t act on things without a bit of self-discovery. Good coaches are able to trigger introspectiveness in a way to promote behaviour change.

Challenge assumptions

A great coach analyzes the self-assumptions someone is making.

Provide support and resources

Coaches will find the necessary resources and help build the right network of people to stimulate real change.

Focus on next step, next step, next step

A coach should be incredibly action oriented, ensuring focus each and every week.

Above all, in order to run a successful workforce wellness program, always make sure that each employee is being heard, and that they have the proper support group around them to achieve success.

Watch the full online seminar and learn more about coaching your employees to create healthy behaviour changes below. You can also read more about coaching by downloading our perspective paper: The real driver of employee health.

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